Author Topic: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:  (Read 13068 times)

Chris

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Re: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:
« Reply #30 on: September 20, 2010, 04:50:27 PM »
MC:You're manipulating them, using the two pigs as your promise?
To me this would be using the Barter Move, which results in a 10+ Manipulation hit, not a 12+.

Again, I think we end up arguing specific examples when you still get an Ally for no fictional reason at all. All this conversation is doing is saying "you shouldn't let your players roll manipulate as much as you are" and not really dealing with the problem of +12 Allies.  But it's not a big deal.

We tend to play as Barter = currency, not as barter is the thing bartered for. It's a result of the fact that our game has a built in, enforced currency that has very firm rules. Just a function of our setting.
A player of mine playing a gunlugger - "So now that I took infinite knives, I'm setting up a knife store." Me - "....what?" Him - "Yeah, I figure with no overhead, I'm gonna make a pretty nice profit." Me - "......"

Michael Pfaff

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Re: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:
« Reply #31 on: September 20, 2010, 07:35:27 PM »
But here's the funny bit.  All NPCs in the game have cross hairs on them.  So, killing them is par for the course.  Any one of your NPCs can be slaughtered, at any time, by crosshairs...

Except, the text explicitly states:

Take that NPC out of whatever front she’s in, list her in a whole new place, home instead of the home front.

Furthermore, stop looking at this NPC through crosshairs. She has been set apart, safe from casual death, to a higher purpose.


So, killing every NPC the PC makes an ally isn't really a solution is it?

I personally don't think having an ally is a big deal. All it really means is they are not a threat anymore. It doesn't mean all of a sudden you guys are the bestest of friends or lover or whatever (although it could mean that if the fiction was right). It just means that they see you in a light that doesn't mean they're after you [anymore].

For example, in the cannibal and pig example, maybe the leader of the cannibals simply likes the way this PC has dealt with them. Two pigs? Hmm. Wasn't expecting that. "Hey man, you're different. Look, I wasn't gonna tell you, but a few people from the hold we come from are planning to ambush you in the hills on your way back. Don't tell 'em I tipped you off. I'll see yah around."

Ally: confidante

Glendower

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Re: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:
« Reply #32 on: September 20, 2010, 09:27:44 PM »
But here's the funny bit.  All NPCs in the game have cross hairs on them.  So, killing them is par for the course.  Any one of your NPCs can be slaughtered, at any time, by crosshairs...

Except, the text explicitly states:

Take that NPC out of whatever front she’s in, list her in a whole new place, home instead of the home front.

Furthermore, stop looking at this NPC through crosshairs. She has been set apart, safe from casual death, to a higher purpose.


So, killing every NPC the PC makes an ally isn't really a solution is it?

That's not what I'm saying in my post.  I'm saying that instead of Manipulating someone (and turning them into an ally), you can kill them, and it's easier, and it totally changes the NPC in a fundamental way (they're now dead).  So a 12 on a manipulate or a 7-9 in a seize by force (Seizing their life with, say, a shotgun) will alter the NPC in a fundamental way. Why is one a problem, and the other not?

Michael Pfaff

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Re: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:
« Reply #33 on: September 20, 2010, 09:51:04 PM »
Gotcha! Agreed!

Daniel Wood

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Re: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:
« Reply #34 on: September 21, 2010, 07:14:07 AM »
So a 12 on a manipulate or a 7-9 in a seize by force (Seizing their life with, say, a shotgun) will alter the NPC in a fundamental way. Why is one a problem, and the other not?

Is this a trick question? It's like saying that swimming up a waterfall and swimming down a waterfall are both going through water, so what's the difference.

NPCs dying easily and NPCs being threats are both part of the fundamental crappiness that is Apocalypse World -- an NPC that is both alive and not a threat is a complete reversal of that crappiness, a major shift in the nature of the world (on a local level.)

If one of the former happens easily or randomly or without much specific fictional support, that's not a problem, because they have the fictional support of the entire game/world/setting behind them -- if the second happens easily or randomly or without much fictional support, there is no secondary support at all, and in fact quite the opposite. Therefore, in my experience, it seems to be more of a problem.


Glendower

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Re: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:
« Reply #35 on: September 21, 2010, 05:07:41 PM »
NPCs dying easily and NPCs being threats are both part of the fundamental crappiness that is Apocalypse World -- an NPC that is both alive and not a threat is a complete reversal of that crappiness, a major shift in the nature of the world (on a local level.)

If one of the former happens easily or randomly or without much specific fictional support, that's not a problem, because they have the fictional support of the entire game/world/setting behind them -- if the second happens easily or randomly or without much fictional support, there is no secondary support at all, and in fact quite the opposite. Therefore, in my experience, it seems to be more of a problem.


My philosophy with Ally stems from my interpretations of the Ally move, and in playing the game with Allies cropping up.  It's based on two pieces in book, one about playing to find out what happens, and the second about there being "no status quo".

When I play the game, I don't know exactly what the various NPCs are going to do, how they're going to react.  Their threat type has their impulse and moves, which helps me keep orientated and gives me some inspiration, but I try to play them like actual people, with all kinds of human emotions.  

These individuals are all hard from a harsh world, but at the same time, I keep in mind that they are subject to changes of mind and heart.  I don't know if they'll change their mind, change their impulses.  I play to find that out. It's why I don't connect with your "fictional support", people make judgments and decisions and changes all the time, sometimes taking years, sometimes in moments. These decisions are arbitrary and not necessarily predicated on any particular event.  Sometimes they're a surprise as much to the person as to the recipient. People are messy, and they don't necessarily follow any kind of narrative momentum.  

I also don't view the world as fundamentally anything. I view things in terms of status quo.  Right now the Apocalypse World is a horrible place. The only way to truly ensure that the person next to you isn't going to victimize you in some way is to threaten them, bribe them, or shoot them.

But it is a place that can change. I figure that If I can make moves to bring home that apocalyptic badness, then the players can certainly use moves to make things better.  This opportunity to shift the nature of the people in this world, and to shift the nature of the world, is the ultimate expression of "No Status Quo".  

Now, in my opinion, it also adds an element of hope, which I think is quite useful as a contrast to the starkness of the setting.  Without a sense of hope that you MIGHT be able to change the people in this world, then I think the game becomes a lot less interesting.

John Harper

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Re: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:
« Reply #36 on: September 21, 2010, 06:36:23 PM »
Yes, Glendower. That's it exactly.

Daniel Wood

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Re: Tell me about your experiences with Ally:
« Reply #37 on: September 21, 2010, 07:17:56 PM »

Yes, of course. The problem I'm discussing is not about whether you can make people into Allies, but how that occurs. You are right, though, that I am overstating (or maybe too invested in) the "fundamental" crappiness. But I stand by the fact that an NPC becoming an Ally on the spot based on a die roll often requires more effort on the part of the players to fit into the fiction than an NPC continuing to be a threat or dying because of a shotgun wound. To my mind, most moves and move results are very well-designed in the sense of the proximity of the move to the fiction, and this has so far felt like an exception to me in-game.